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1500 already signed up for Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge rides

Cyclone offers summer weekend of top cycling in the North East

Entries for this year's Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge rides on 13th June are 42 per cent up on last year with over 1500 riders already entered. The Cyclone is part of the UCI's Golden Wheel sportive series and offers a choice of three rides starting and finishing from the Newcastle Falcons Rugby club and venturing out in to the Norhumbrian countryside.

The Cyclone Challenge Rides are one half of the Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge weekend, which sees amateur riders of all ages and abilities taking to the scenic Northumbrian countryside on the Saturday followed by pros racing over the same roads on the Sunday in the Beaumont Trophy one of Britain's top Premier Calendar races.

Places are still available for the Challenge rides but if you want to do the 101 mile ride you will need to get a move on with your entry – places are capped at 1,000 and as of today (Tuesday) there have already been 766 entries.

Riders can chose from the following Cyclone Challenge rides and online entry is available:

33 mile ride
Designed for families and those just who want to enjoy the countryside without any large hills. The route for ride has been revised this year goes past Bolam Lake Country Park and, says organiser, Peter Harrison, would be a nice stopping off point for these families with young riders. The route is undulating and ascends for a total of 390M (1280ft)

62 mile ride
This ride is for semi serious cyclists or those who want a challenge. It is a hilly route and not to be entered without a little previous training. The route is the same route as Ride C for the first half and then goes off in a different direction to eventually join up with ride C again for the last 1/3rd of the ride. It climbs for 1217M (3993ft) in the 62mls

101 mile ride
A serious challenge for the more experienced cyclists or those who are very fit. The route is very hilly with 2374m (7789ft) of climbing. The route is very choppy with 8 significant climbs and the highest point is Troughend Common (340m), west of Otterburn in the Cheviot Hills.

Riders completing the 101 mile ride will have the additional challenge of achieving Gold, Silver or Bronze Standard for their ride depending on the time it takes them.

Technical sponsors Madison have donated a raft of attractive prizes for the individual riders and family groups raising the most for charity in each of the rides. Prizes up for grabs include: Garmin Edge Sat Nav's, Giro helmets and Blackburn Delphi cycle computers.

All rides use safe and quiet roads and visit numerous villages along their way. Finishers in all events will be given a finishing time as well as intermediate split times. Riders will be able to download a certificate after completion of the event which will show their finishing time. Entry fee for all rides is £20 for adults and youth entry for the 33 mile and 62 mile rides is £10.

Riders can register either on the Saturday morning of the rides or on the Friday evening at the Leazes Park Criteriums, the latter has the added advantage that you get to see some crit racing too.

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